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Incubator helps charities launch good work

  • Maria Sillari, COO, left, and Molly Hodgson, CEO. Courtesy

  • Geneve Hoffman/16 Hoops LLC

Business NH Magazine
Published: 9/25/2021 8:10:38 PM

The past year has probably been roughest on the nonprofit sector, which not only faced the same challenges as businesses but also experienced increased demand for services. But, as the economy recovers, a new nonprofit incubator, GoodWork, is looking to provide help.

Located in Portsmouth and established by a Seacoast family foundation in 2019, GoodWork provides executive coaching, training, resources, programs and professional development. It also offers peer-to-peer support and networking to startup and early-stage nonprofits.

Participants receive mentoring from seasoned nonprofit leaders and access to pro bono consultants. This includes guidance with developing a mission, developing marketing and fundraising plans, connecting with donors, managing forms to receive tax-exempt status, building a network and finding affordable office space.

“Early-stage organizations need more than money. They need resources, accounting support, business advice,” says Molly Hodgson, CEO. “GoodWork provides social entrepreneurs with customized strategic support. We meet folks where they are.”

The leadership at GoodWork has experience in the nonprofit community. Hodgson previously served as president of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce, executive director of NH Businesses for Social Responsibility and was the first executive director of NH Made. Maria Sillari, COO, was the program consultant for NH Charitable Foundation’s Artist Advancement Grant, the first director of the Greater Seacoast Coalition to End Homelessness (now Home for All), and served as both the campaign director and director of fund distribution for United Way of the Greater Seacoast where she was a co-founder and liaison to the Partnership for Effective Nonprofits.

“It’s an organization we wished had existed early on in our professional careers,” Hodgson says. GoodWork’s headquarters provide a board room that any nonprofit can use, a library, coworking spaces and a shared kitchen.

Hodgson says shortly after GoodWork welcomed its first cohort of six nonprofits, COVID hit forcing all programming to go virtual. The second cohort of eight nonprofits will be able to take advantage of the physical incubator this year.

“We tried to instill in folks to be nimble and adapt,” Hodgson says of starting a nonprofit in a pandemic and in general.

GoodWork also helps nonprofits who are seeking to grow but not part of the group learning, says Sillari. “When you infuse resources into a nonprofit, look at the incredible things we can accomplish,” Hodgson says.

For more information, visit goodworkseacoast.org.

The GoodWork 2021 Incubator Participants:

Alliance for Greater Good: An organization of four friends in Portsmouth who provide multiple ways for people to help others.

Articine: Based in Newfields, Articine connects artists and medical professionals to create and implement collaborative wellness experiences.

Indonesian Community Connect: Connects the Indonesian community in Somersworth with the surrounding area through education and celebrations that promote the richness of Indonesian heritage.

Our Place: Provides residential options, services and supports in Dover designed to meet the needs of adults with developmental disabilities.

Red’s Good Vibes: Provides no-contact donated grocery deliveries to families and community members within 30 miles of Portsmouth.

Smiling Spirit: Based in Durham, supports military personnel, first responders and their families develop healthy mental and physical habits by providing educational resources and vacation stays in New England.

Voice Support Services: Based in Portsmouth, partners with nonprofit, government and medical organizations to provide therapeutic singing programs.

Purseverance207: The Portsmouth organization collects gently used purses, fills them with personal items and an uplifting gift and donates them to transitioning women in homeless shelters, recovery centers and domestic violence shelters.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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